Ukraine tragedy through the eyes of a Messianic Believer
Shalom Mishpacha, (family)
The issues surrounding Ukraine have created another global tragedy that will eventually have a ripple effect on nations far away.
Israel is one of those nations, not so far away, but deeply affected.
As with all things Israel, it is complicated. My desire is to confront some of the issues that bring Israel into the story, some of the prophetic implications, and the positive response from our ministry partners that could involve you.
Within one week of the invasion, Israel was accused of not responding to Ukraine with military assistance. At the same time, the UN and the EU issued or renewed a variety of baseless sanctions against Israel. On top of that, Amnesty International has labeled Israel as an apartheid nation, which carries criminal charges against her.
To be clear, Israel is not a perfect nation—not even close. To be certain though, Israel is not an aggressor nation, nor has she stolen land from Palestinians. These accusations began at her inception as a nation reborn in 1948 and have accelerated ever since. Even though Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, very few nations have come to her defense. The time is coming when the nations at large will rage against her, which puts Jews everywhere at risk once again, and should give Christians everywhere, a reason to pause.
Let me first outline why Israel has not defended Ukraine and hence, labeled as heartless for failing to respond militarily, even though the President is Jewish–possibly the only one in the world outside of Israel.
- There are about 150,000 Jews living in Russia—most are terrified by what may be in store for them. If Israel sides with Ukraine now, these Jews will remain where they are. Currently Israel is one of a few nations allowed to fly in Russian air space for the sole purpose of transporting Jews in a massive deportation, known as Aliyah.
- As I write, the US and Iran are in negotiations about removing sanctions from Iran that have prevented them from developing nuclear bombs. The mediator of these talks is—you guessed it—Russia. If Iran has her way, their nuclear arsenal will be directed upon Israel first and the US second. This is not speculation, the leaders of Iran have been threatening this for years and have been stationing their forces in Syria, Israel’s northern neighbor.
- Russia has military control in Syria and has allowed Israel to destroy Hezbollah (Iran’s proxy) missile bases in Syria. If Russia says no more to Israel, her northern border (Golan Heights) will be at risk of massive destruction, which would cause Israel to respond in force. It’s not hard to imagine what that would prompt.
- So what is Israel doing now?
Providing relief…That is what Israel has been famous for doing in response to global disasters for decades. Israel is known for being the first responder amongst the nations, including our own, when she is allowed to assist.
On the Ukrainian side of the Polish border, Israel has set up a fully equipped 150 bed Field Hospital, staffed with 100 Israeli volunteers, eighty of whom are doctors and nurses. The hospital is for citizens and their services are free, including all medicines.
As for military support, time will tell how much assistance they have given, without a visible presence.
To me, and for you who have already supported us, my boast is in our partners. As soon as the first line of tanks rolled in, our Messianic family in Israel moved their “troops” into place to minister hope to those fleeing for their lives, which was almost entirely women, children, and the elderly. Stewart and his wife Chantal, the founders of Reach flew from Israel to Romania and joined a network of faithful men and women whom they have known for years from Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova and began the distribution of humanitarian aid. The need grew immediately for more vehicles to drive into devastated areas of Ukraine, to transport those fleeing, even while under fire.
Another ministry we serve flew two teams to Moldova and Poland to assist in the efforts of their colleagues. Each one of them made Aliyah years ago from either Ukraine or the Soviet bloc. They know the language and the culture and are well connected.
They have painfully described the heartache on the faces of multitudes but boast of the remarkable unity amongst believers serving tirelessly, even in extremely cold weather.
Their love for Yeshua is powerful and rewarding. Many churches have opened their doors for living quarters and members have opened their homes. The contrast between light and darkness has never been more evident.
The effect on Israel has just begun. Several Messianic ministries are prepared to receive the large influx of Jews as well as Gentiles who are at risk for their resistance effort against the tyranny.
My friend from Ashdod told me they have already welcomed new immigrants from Russia to their congregation who are hearing the gospel for the first time. This is prophetic.
I hope you are not disappointed that I didn’t weigh in on Gog and Magog. I will leave that to others. What I will say is that the day has come of which the prophets spoke, when God would draw His people back to the Land from the North specifically. At first, they would appear as dry bones. But when He calls for the winds to come from the four corners of the earth, those bones will come to life. The bones represent Jews, who do not know Yeshua, and the winds are Gentiles who do.
It is time to breathe life into Israel however God may lead.
Shalom and much love,
* Video link
*Two short testimonies from Ukrainians.
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This book is why Comfort My People came into existence!
Messianic Rabbi Alex
Rabbi Alex was led by the Lord to send his wife, adopted son, and all the other women and children in his congregation out of the country to safety in other countries in Europe. His family waited 52 hours in their car in freezing cold weather to cross the border and almost ran out of gas. When they finally entered Romania, they went to a gas station to fill up, but the credit card would not work. Rabbi Alex reassured his wife during a phone call that God would help… and soon compassionate Romanians saw her dilemma and paid to fill up her tank. This is just one of many wonderful stories of kindness.
He has seen God’s hand at work in other practical ways. They recently renovated part of their congregation’s building and happened to have a large water heater on hand. Although no one saw any practical reason for having such a large one, he felt they should install it. Now it supplies hot water for refugees to be able to shower after a long, challenging journey.
Rabbi Alex is also encouraged during the daily prayer meetings being held. “The Spirit of the Lord is ministering to us, and we are also very happy to see that the unbelievers in our refugee center do not seek to get away but stay for the prayer meetings and experience the Lord. They did not understand what Messianic Jews are, but as they see who we are, it changes their perceptions. The example of how so many believers have responded with love, faith, and the joy of the Lord has touched many.”
Pastor Inna, leader of Messianic congregation Beit Simcha, and her teenage daughter survived a stampede at the Ukraine-Romanian border crossing. Her heart was broken as she witnessed a man being crushed to death at the border. She was barely able to get her daughter into Romania. At one point, they were separated as her daughter crossed the border while she was trapped in the crowd and unable to follow. Thankfully, they were quickly reunited, and her daughter is now safe and staying with relatives in Romania.
Pastor Inna shared the following. “I can now see how the Lord had been preparing us for this horrific time in our country. Over the past six months or so, we have developed relationships with a number of believers from the city of Mykolaiv who had moved to Chernivtsi to do ministry. These believers have become pillars in the refugee center and the congregational ministry.”
Despite the physical and emotional toll of bearing their own family separation and the overwhelming burden of having their congregations become refugee centers overnight, both of these leaders continue to make drawing close to God a priority. They rely on His help… while they continue to offer comfort and encouragement to others.